Tuesday, December 13, 2005

How to Build a Balcony Compost Bin

About a year ago, on an ecological mission, I went out to the open air markets of peripheral Milan and scavanged 6 orange crates (a bigger version of those wood or chipboard clementine cases.) I wanted a balcony composter to feed my plants and cut down on taking out the garbage. At first I wasn't going to be so Martha Stewart about it; I was just going to buy a balcony composter online. The problem was that almost all the kits I found were really big or really expensive. So I decided to illicit Gabriel's help and make one from scratch. Look out Martha, here we come!

Here's how we did it:

I dismantled the orange crates and bought enough metal screening to make 2-11inch (or 28cm) by 22inch (or 56cm) pieces plus 1-17inch (or 39cm) by 57inch (or 143cm) piece. Gabriel made a wooden frame. When Gabriel comes home, I'll ask him to tell you how he did that. Gabriel took one of the crate bottoms and fitted it over the bottom of the frame. Then he followed with the orange crate sides leaving about a 1cm or 1/2 inch space between them. He lined this box with the 3 pieces of screening: the smaller two fit inside and are nailed to the narrower two sides of the bin and the large, long piece lines the 2 wider sides and the bottom making a U shape. Once the screening was nailed intact, I rolled 3 newspapers and lined the bottom of the box with them. Gabriel bought 2 metal hinges and nailed them to one of the wide sides of the top rim of the box and also to another orange case bottom which serves as the compost bin top. We have placed this bin on top of the largest plastic planter saucer you could imagine.

Coming up next: "La scatola" gossip: all about our nosey neighbors' reactions to "the box"!


Blogger CP said...

Another really good site I found with a lot of info on the subject is:

Balcony Compost.com

Make sure to check it out if you're interested in the art of composting urban style.

6:42 PM  

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